If your child is being bullied, we have the help you need. In this, the final instalment in our three-part series about bullying, Simon Benn is sharing how you can use his tried-and-tested strategies to increase your child’s resilience…and your own, too.
Simon knows a lot about this topic, as we learnt in part one, Stop Bullying of All Types with Simon Benn. Nothing gives him more pleasure than hearing a child tell him that other kids cannot upset them anymore—or hearing the same thing from a parent or teacher who’s learnt to bully-proof a child after working with Simon.
Simon Benn started working with kids in 2013 and found his true vocation: Inspiring kids to be happy, whilst working with their parents to make that happen.
You can immerse yourself in the entire How to Make Your Child Bully Proof Brand Builders TV episode, or read on to hear the conclusion to this series in Simon’s own words.
So together, let’s learn it, model it and get shit done. Let’s go!
Get to Know Simon Benn
When you meet Simon Benn, you’re immediately struck by his gentle nature, eagerness to help and humility concerning all the lives he’s changed for the better. As a publisher, coach, motivator and entrepreneur, Simon is showing us not only how to help bullied children, but to use what we learn along the way to direct and grow our businesses.
As an adopted child who was bullied, Simon uses his own experiences to coach parents so they can raise happy children…children who are bully-proof. He runs workshops with 8- to 11-year-olds, talking about what’s important to them and increasing their emotional intelligence so they can better understand the behaviour of those around them.
Come with us and be captivated by this final article in the bully-proofing series, written in Simon’s own words.
If Your Child is Being Bullied, Start Here
Children need to see things for themselves. This is not about what you say, it’s about what they hear. It’s not about what you point out to them, it’s what they see after you have pointed it out. This is about coaching rather than telling. It’s about questions. It’s about using questions to draw a child out of themselves. It’s about getting your child to see that it’s not their fault.
What’s going on inside the bully has determined that child’s behaviour. The bully is scared, angry, worried, having a tough time…and they’re taking that out on your child.
This is about helping your child understand human behaviour and how our feelings drive those behaviours. How our thoughts drive our feelings, and how our self-identity and view of ourselves drive our thoughts, which drive our feelings, which drive our behaviours.
This goes on inside all of us. Your child has to see that it isn’t their fault. They have to see the truth of that.
My Bullying Experience, Full Circle
Back to my story. If you haven’t read part two, How to Stop Cyberbullies and More, go there for the backstory—to read about what happened to me at scout camp.
A friend of a friend, Bob Kennedy, who lives near me, is a fan of what I do. He has a son who’s about seven or eight, and not long ago, he contacted me because he was concerned about his child.
The biggest cause of children’s unhappiness is bullying. This stuff is emotional. Building your child up to be bully-proof sets strength within them. Tech companies think cyber bullying is a tech problem, but it’s not. It’s an emotional problem, so it doesn’t matter how it’s delivered.
Bob was asking me about this, and I told him my scout story and about my patrol leader. Bob described the person, and told me he used to work with him in a kitchen. He said he was always a “nasty piece of work.”
That was the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle for me. Bob sharing that made me realise that it was never my fault. I kind of knew that, but it took that knowledge to a deeper level. That’s what the first stage of working with children is about. It’s helping them get to that deeper realisation.
When Your Child is being Bullied, Coaching is the Answer
We’re brought up to believe that knowledge is a yes or a no. I either know it or I don’t. In computer language, it’s either a one or a zero. Or it’s black or white; there are no shades of grey. But what we know isn’t like that. We can know something intellectually (in our heads), but that’s totally different to knowing something in our hearts and bones (embodied understanding).
I now knew that patrol leader was a troubled child himself, copying his dad. I was now sure he was doing to me what his dad had done to him. That’s became clearer and clearer, especially after Bob’s story. That’s how deep we have to take things for them to sink in.
That’s another way of looking at the depth of knowledge. It comes from within us, like with the girl who could return to dance class with a level of conviction and understanding; there were no two ways about it, she was going back to dance class.
How we get to that is through coaching our kids. I don’t mean with lots of technique, but through questions, stories and sharing our own vulnerabilities. That’s what’s worked for me.
As adults, we’re often afraid to share our vulnerabilities or what’s gone wrong in life, or how we feel. That’s the starting point. If you’re a parent, you’re leading your child. Leaders go first and leaders share. How much you share comes down to your preference.
I am not a parenting coach and I’m not going to tell you how to parent your child. That’s up to you, and it’s your business. My wife and I don’t have children for medical reasons, so I’m not going to tell you how to parent your kids. I want to guide you in how to figure out how to inspire kids to make their dreams come true, make them happy, make them confident and bully-proof.
My job is the best in the world and I’d love to hear from you! Visit the Simon Benn website. Chat me up with no obligation or commitment.
If Your Child is Being Bullied, There’s Help
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series as much as we’ve enjoyed bringing it to you. If you’ve gotten anything out of this, please do tell someone else how they can subscribe to the Brand Builders TV channel. And don’t forget there’s a treasure trove of wisdom, support and accountability waiting for you in the Brand Builders Club, where inspired, motivated entrepreneurs are waiting to hear about your business, to weigh on your challenges, and to get your advice as they move along their own journey. Join for a low monthly fee, with no obligation. We think you’ll want to stay, though.
In the first part of this anti-bullying series, Stop Bullying of All Types with Simon Benn, we learned how Simon set out to increase children’s happiness and stumbled upon a need for bully-proofing. He drove home the notion that in order to stop cyberbullies, workplace bullies, playground bullies…we have to bully-proof ourselves and our children.
He told us the story of a young girl—a promising dancer with aspirations to perform on Dancing with the Stars—who had quit dance class because she was being bullied. Success stories like hers are abundant in Simon Benn’s world, and he’s freely sharing his own story of being bullied in this instalment.
So sit back and get ready for his powerful message, taken directly from his Brand Builders TV episode, How to Make Your Child Bully Proof. Maybe you’d like to watch the full episode here, or read on to experience Simon’s story in his own words. The choice is yours.
Let’s get to know Simon a bit more before we continue.
Who is Simon Benn?
Coach, publisher, inspirational presenter and entrepreneur Simon Benn knows that “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken adults.” (F. Douglas)
In his years of working with parents and children to increase their happiness and make them bully-proof, he has made ground-breaking discoveries that not only disarm bullies, but empower those who are being bullied and those who were once bullied.
Strategies to stop cyberbullies are on the minds of many these days, but Simon is quick to remind us that all types of bullying—cyberbullying, playground bullying, workplace bullying, sibling bullying, social bullying—are serious and can cause significant damage.
In his own words, Simon is describing how he was bullied as a child, how he moved on from it, and how he uses his past experiences to keep bullying from stealing kids’ happiness.
My Bullies, by Simon Benn
Hello, I’m Simon Benn and today I’m going to talk about how to make your child bully proof. What do I mean by bully proof? What I mean is your child doesn’t get upset by other kids picking on them and bullying them. Whether that’s at school, in the playground, when teachers aren’t looking; or whether that’s by text message or cyberbullying.
The bully-proofing is not what I set out to do. I kind of stumbled across it, and that gave me such unbridled joy, because I was bullied pretty badly when I was a kid.
When I was really little I sucked my thumb, which caused an overbite. I got called “Bugsy,” “Bugs Bunny,” “Ratty,” “Rodent”…the damage wasn’t just what the kids said, it was how they said it. That kind of bullying went on for a long time in school. I didn’t tell my parents what was going on. They always said, “We just want you to be happy.” I wasn’t happy, and I felt that if I told them I would be letting them down. That’s why that little girl, the dancer, hadn’t told her parents. Victims feel like it’s our fault, because the bullies make it about us, we think there’s something wrong with us.
As adults we think we’re not good enough for our jobs, or good enough to be entrepreneurs or parents. Quite often, parents tell me their child is being bullied and they don’t know what to do. They haven’t been trained for this, and don’t know how to deal with it.
The name-calling paled in comparison when I think about what happened in scout camp when I was about eleven. I was new to this scout troupe. I didn’t go to the same school as all the other scouts. I didn’t live in the same part of town. I didn’t drink tea. There was a catalogue of things that made me different, and bullies pick on people who are different.
The main thing was I kept on messing up and making mistakes. I collected wood that wasn’t dry enough to burn, for example. Every time I messed up, which was a lot, the patrol leader in charge of my tent made me kneel on the wet grass and repeat, “I am a stupid worthless piece of…swear words.” It was awful.
I didn’t tell anybody. I never went back, though. That’s why hearing these stories from parents and from kids really rocks my world.
Cyberbullying is not a Technology Problem
Too many believe that to stop cyberbullies, you have to solve a technology problem. Not true. Cyberbullying is no different than any other kind of bullying. The delivery method might be different, but the problem is still an emotional one, not a technological one.
When I’m able to help a child, I find it humbling and inspiring. It has nothing to do with me but I’ve stumbled across something. I love working with parents. I have so much fun working with kids.
I never thought for a moment I’d enjoy working with parents – that idea didn’t cross my mind until someone contacted me from Egypt (I’m in North Yorkshire). She said, “I was talking to my husband about children’s happiness, and I’d like to learn more about it.” She wanted to learn more about it for her kids, but she also wanted to bring children’s happiness into schools.
I didn’t know if I really wanted to do it. I had so many things running through my head. The voice of doubt was in my head. But ultimately, I decided to give it a go.
I was so shocked by how much I loved doing it. Even on Skype and Zoom…the connections I made! A mum shared how much it had changed life for her and her kids. She thought it would just be about her kids, but she became more confident by improving her kids’ confidence. These parents are at their wits’ end. They don’t know what to do.
What do you do? How do you stop cyberbullies, playground bullies, neighbourhood bullies…make your child bully-proof?
Keep Reading to Learn How to Stop Cyberbullies
That question Simon just posed: “What do you do? How do you stop cyberbullies?” is the question of the century for so many children and their parents. In the final instalment of this three-part series, Help! My Child is Being Bullied, with Simon Benn, we will come to understand more about the psychology of bullying and how we can stop it in its tracks.
So join us for that, and please, please…share this life-changing information with someone you know who might be suffering from cyberbullying, or any type of bullying. Simon tells us that children’s minds are far more open to new ideas than ours, and so changing their minds about bullying when they’re young isn’t only possible, it’s highly probable!
Simon Benn has built a business with a purpose and a desire to help people by sharing the same insight that helped him. What do you know that can change a life? What are you passionate about? What do you have to share? Join Simon and other brilliant entrepreneurs in the Brand Builders Club, a safe place for entrepreneurs to get the guidance and accountability necessary for profound success. Will we see you in the club? There’s no long-term obligation, so you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Hello and welcome to this first instalment in a three-part series about how to stop bullying of all types from childhood-happiness expert Simon Benn. He is working to empower parents and children with the notion that they can become bully-proof.
An adopted child who was bullied, Simon now teaches kids to T.H.R.I.V.E.
All of the information you’ll find here has been extracted from Simon’s Brand Builders TV episode, How to Make Your Child Bully Proof. You may wish to watch the entire episode below, or you can read on to learn what to do if your child is being bullied, in Simon Benn’s own words.
It’s time to learn it, model it and get shit done. Let’s go!
Meet Simon Benn
Simon Benn is a coach who is empowering children to T.H.R.I.V.E. He holds school workshops for 8-to-11-year-olds, works directly with parents who are concerned about their children being bullied, and publishes educational materials to help kids feel happier and more confident—which makes them bully-proof.
He understands that your child means more to you than anything else, and that their happiness is your happiness. He also knows that children’s minds are more open and ready to change than ours, making the early years the prime time for bully-proofing.
Children can learn quickly that bullying is not about them. They can be taught about emotional issues and how they manifest in others. The more they learn about feelings, the more capable they will be of walking away from bullies, unscathed.
Without further ado, let’s hear what Simon has to say about how to stop bullying, in his own words.
How I Stumbled onto my Stop Bullying Message
Just imagine if your child were totally immune to bullying, so that nobody could upset them. How would that feel?
We hear so much in the media about how big of a problem bullying is, and everybody is focussed on trying to change the behaviour of the bullies. If parents have children who are bullied, they will relentlessly go after the schools to stop the bully (and they should do exactly that), but there’s another way of attacking this. You can build up your child’s immunity to bullying before it happens, or even whilst it’s happening.
That’s what I discovered seven years ago, when I woke up one sunny July morning with an idea about writing a kid’s book about happiness. That turned into conversations with kids about my concept and conversations with teachers in schools.
By November, 2013 I was going into schools and working with kids. In the thought session I was presenting, I was honing my message and trying it out to see what would work.
I was learning on the job, with kids as an audience. We learn by experimentation. We don’t learn with insight from books, etc…we learn from the job. Learning to be an entrepreneur is on-the-job training.
What I discovered is that we can make children bully-proof. I didn’t set out to do that. I set out to make them happy, but stumbled across a way to stop something that makes too many kids unhappy—bullying.
Being Bullied, but not for Long
I was working with kids, who were interviewing me about a comic I was writing. We got into an activity session about helping them make their dreams comes true. This is a way to engage any child in conversation…with what matters to them, not us.
What matters to them is getting into a school, making the football team, getting the part in the play…short-term or long-term goals. We start the conversation about that. We then move to their feelings and then onto ignoring the kids who say they can’t make their dreams come true. From that, we take a short hop to helping them realise that no other child can actually upset them.
I ran the session. I was testing my process. I wanted to find out what the children had learnt, so I asked them to write down what they’d discovered. At that time, I wasn’t sure if I was patronizing them or talking up to them, taking them beyond their abilities. I said, “I want you to write down what you’ve learnt so you can remember it.”
One little girl beckoned me over, “Mr. Benn, now I can go back to dance class.” That’s what she had learnt she could do.
We’d been talking and playing silly games (because kids learn more when they’re having fun). We spent 45 minutes on making dreams come true and ignoring those who tell them it’s not possible. This girl had an insight, a realization, had seen something new, a leap in her consciousness. Something had happened in her mind, and she was going back to dance class.
I didn’t fully know what was going on, but she said that she’d been bullied for being too good of a dancer. The others were probably jealous. She hadn’t told the teacher or her mum and dad, just quit. That had broken her heart, and it still breaks my heart to think about her going through that.
So that meant her dream was back in the cards, because she loved dancing. She wanted to be on Dancing with the Stars. The conviction in her voice still gives me chills after all these years.
Oh, what she had seen for herself! It’s not what I say, it’s what the kids hear. It’s what the parents I now work with hear. I train parents in my approach to make their children bully-proof. It’s what they hear from their children, what they pass on to me, that sets my world on fire. To hear the success stories; the changes that happen in young minds. Kids are so open to this stuff, it’s just absolutely fantastic.
Kids’ Minds are Open to Stopping Bullying
We’re brought up to believe that changing our mind is a bad thing; I think it’s a fantastic thing. So many of us, as adults, still have the bully from the playground in our heads. They’re still telling us we can’t achieve what we want in life and business.
Changing your mind means ignoring that bully. Kids take to it like ducks to water; the change happens in a minute and there’s less rubbish in their head. It’s absolutely stupendous to me when I hear parents say what I’ve shared has changed their child’s trajectory.
You Can Stop Bullying, with the Help of Simon Benn
In this first article in the series, we have learnt that we don’t have to change the bully’s behaviour; we simply have to fortify ourselves (and our children) against it. As humans, we manifest our emotions in different ways, but one thing is certain: Negative emotions have negative results. And in the case of bullying, the bully is suffering. The doesn’t mean you (or your child) has to suffer at their hand, or along with them.
You won’t want to miss Simon’s next instalment, How to Stop Cyberbullies and More. In it, he will be sharing his own traumatic experiences with bullies from his childhood, and using them to teach us how we can stop bullying in its tracks. Then we’ll wrap it all up with Help! My Child is Being Bullied, which contains some practical knowledge for stopping bullies.
I hope you will join us for all that! And if you or your child are suffering the ravages of bullying, or if you know someone who is, please share the video or this series with them. Simon has both the first-hand and the empirical awareness necessary for helping people through this.
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